Brett Boone is Back and On the Radio Today

Former Mariners second baseman Bret Boone returns to Seattle this weekend to take part in the 10-year anniversary celebration commemorating the team’s 116-win season in 2001.

He is expected to join the Kevin Calabro Show today, sometime between 3 and 6, on 710 ESPN Seattle. You can also hear the interview by streaming it on-line at 710Sports.com.

Boone used to be one of my favorite players on the team. It wasn’t because of his prolific stats – I just liked to go to his locker because he was the most quotable Mariner. His comments always spiced up whatever I was writing about.

But then I started to wonder if Boone’s numbers were inflated by steroids. I remember writing a column about steroid use in baseball, and Boone gave me a few general quotes on the topic. I didn’t ask if he took them.

I wrote the column and flew from Phoenix to El Paso that night to interview Mike Price in the aftermath of his Alabama debacle. As I sat in my hotel room at the Holiday Inn, my phone rang, and it was Boone asking me to delete all of his steroids comments from my column. He said he just didn’t want his name associated with anything to do with steroids. He must have had some second thoughts between the time I talked to him and the time I landed in El Paso.

I thought it was a little strange but agreed to do it because I didn’t want to damage my relationship with Boone because he was such a good quote. Looking back, I probably blew that one. I should have said, “Sorry Bret, you said what you said on the record,” but I didn’t.

Boone has never admitted to taking steroids, but boy are there suspicions, especially in light of his “breakout” years, such as the 2001 season when he had 37 home runs and 141 RBI.

In the next few years, my good feelings about Boone changed. It didn’t help matters when I got reports of him being drunk and rude to a beverage-cart girl at Newcastle. I wrote that column after talking to Boone about it. He denied everything, but I kept thinking: “Why would the beverage-cart girl lie about this?” I chose to believe her side of the story and the P-I published the column.

Boone’s buddy and partner on the golf course that day was Richie Sexson. The Mariners’ former first baseman called to try and talk me out of writing the column. I listened and still went with what the beverage-cart girl told me.

I don’t have too many rules in life or things I believe in strongly, but when it comes to beverage-cart girls, I hold them in the highest regard – the sight of one has never failed to put a smile on my face, and when a beverage-cart girl is treated rudely, I have a huge problem with that.

Before hanging up, Sexson said he would never talk to me again and that he would do whatever he could with his teammates to get me blackballed from the clubhouse. I shrugged it off because Sexson was never that great of an interview anyway. To his credit, a year and a half later, Sexson agreed to give me an interview to talk about his struggles at the plate.

I haven’t talked to Boone since I wrote about the beverage-cart girl incident. I have no idea if he’ll still have hard feelings about that column or let bygones be bygones since so much time has passed. I guess I’ll find out when Kevin and I interview him today.

Here’s a link to the beverage-cart girl column from 2005.

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